SA-14 Construction/TOC Issues


I just bought a B-stock unit from Cambridge Sound Works that has the full warrantee and had them ship it to me (I live in Canada). The date of manufacture is December 2001. I have never seen a SA-14 before except via pictures.
Just two questions:

1. The top and sides of my unit are made out of a black plastic material that are riveted in place. I had assumed that it would be a metal of some sort (probably aluminum). Is this the normal top and sides?

2. The CD player that this is replacing is a Sony SCD-C555ES player. In the year that I have had it, it has never had a TOC or skipping problem. On one SACD in particular (Jacintha - Lush Life) the SA-14 has a TOC problem and when eventually loaded, skips on the latter tracks. The CD is spotless and not a problem with the Sony. Anyone else have this type of problem?

I have had this unit only for a couple of days now and can return it via their 45 day trial.

Thank you in advance for your input.


David Berry
you need to upgrade firm ware. TOC and skipping may be because of this. And should be a metal piece.
Plastic sides and top? That's unconscionable. I bought a refurb unit that was slightly scratched but at least had the normal copper-lined metal chassis. I believe my unit is also from 2001, but I have not had any problems with reading SACDs or CDs. Send that plastic baby back, that's what I think.
Thank you for your responses. I was aware that there was a TOC issue in their earlier run (I believe pre-April or May 2001) and thus did not expect it when I asked for the date of manufacture from the salerep. I also did not expect that once the disc was read, that it would skip.

The plastic top just put me over the edge when I saw it. I am going to attempt to get them to pay for return shipping as I was led down the garden path.

There have been many positive remarks about Cambridge SoundWorks in this forum and in others, but unfortunately, I cannot add to them.

I also recently purchased an SA-14 from CSW.
Initially I was less than pleased, however from
guidance from Ivan, Islandfisher, and Socrates,
the unit has settled into place and now
sounds great. Lengthy break-in and the inner tube
have transformed it. I am very pleased.
To your point-my unit was A-stock, i.e. brand new,
sealed, etc. with a manufacture date of Dec.2001.
The top and sides do seem to be plastic riveted into
place. If they are made like this, whats the problem?
Some of my cheaper players have metal tops and sound awful-so if the SA-14 has a copper clad bottom but plastic
top and sides and sounds great does it really matter?
My concern would be if other units from different dates
were built with metal top and sides, and if so why?
I'll call Marantz today and post my findings.

Best Regards and Thanks,
Attila Simon
I talked to Marantz America.
They assured me no units were ever made with
plastic sides and top. The material is an anodized
aluminum alloy. I re-checked my piece and will admit
my error-it is easy to see why it seems like plastic.
Thin aluminum top with this finish does feel like plastic.
The sides seem like an alum extrusion.
Rest assured-it is not plastic. This from a guy(me) who
has been involved with sheet metal for 30 years.
Sorry for any confusion.


"My concern would be if other units from different dates
were built with metal top and sides, and if so why?"

Exactly, Attila. I held my unit under a bit more scrutiny than normal due to its B-stock status. As such, the reason for the question about its top plastic-like material vs. what I was expecting - an aluminum top. It is good to know that the top and sides of yours seems the same as mine.

My concern was that of misrepresention of the product (i.e. not just B-stock but exterior (and possibly interior) changes), not particulary about the sound output.

Please do post your findings.
Uh, the player should be metal, the top is aluminum, as-new, and the inside holds more copper then your local bank. Some folks have replaced the top with other materials for acoustic purposes, but this should not be the case with a new player. Maybe someone drop kicked the player, which led it to being "B-stock." Try to exchange it for another player, with the original roof.

How much does your player weight? Should be a little over 30lbs, very solid.
My player weighs 26.7 lbs (12.2 kg) without packaging (I have an accurate, fairly large scale in my lab). This does match what Marantz has published about its weight (26 lbs), although I don't imagine the top part would influence its total weight too much.

Perhaps, based upon what Attila has said, I am mistaking the aluminum with this finish as a plastic-like material. If so, don't I feel silly! I believe that I still have to get the firmware update, though.

What type of power conditioning are you using? The '14, like many digital components, requires good power conditioning and stable voltage. If you have a TOC read problem trying turning the player off for 2 minutes, turn it back on and then put in an SACD you know it can read. Play it for awhile, then replace it with the problem disc. I have only had these problems with SACDs when the power went out or got fluky or something. Good luck.
I am currently not using any power conditioner. The only thing that I have done is install a dedicated 20 amp circuit to power my 2-channel system. It seems to have worked fine for the Sony SCD-C555ES player and other CD players before it.
Thank you for the power off suggestion, however, my way of thinking is that for a ~$3000 US MSRP CD player and one that has such a high level of engineering, it should not be that finicky.